How Long Do Succulents Live Without Water (This long!)

Succulent is one of the toughest plants that can survive for months, years, and even whole life without water. We, humans, can manage to live without water for a maximum of four or hardly five days. But these plants can survive for a long time without water.

However, different sizes, weathers, and many other conditions affect the duration for which these can survive off to the water. So, how long do succulents live without water?

Generally, succulents can go up to 1 to 3 months without water. Succulents grown indoors can live longer without water because they will have less exposure to external weather conditions, including wind and sunlight. And outdoor succulents will require watering because they tend to dry out the soil faster than indoors. In cooler climates, generally in fall and winter, the soil stays moist for extended periods.

However, many factors affect their survival. One of the factors of succulents’ long survival without water is the morphology of their tissues. These plants have fleshy tissues that can store a lot of water. Read on to find out more about the characteristics of succulent plants. You might also enjoy reading: Echeveria vs. Graptopetalum: What Are The Differences?

How Long Do Succulents Live Without Water
How Long Do Succulents Live Without Water (This long!) –

General Overview Of Succulents

Generally, succulents need moderate watering and fertilizer but require abundant light. Also, They thrive in well-drained sandy soil and indoor conditions with low humidity. Here’s a general overview of succulent plants.

Light requirements Succulent requires lots of light, about 14 to 16 hours of sun exposure each day.
– The best is to put them indoors is a bright and sunny window because a windowsill spot will provide your succulents with the necessary light and cool night temperatures.
Avoid places where your succulents will receive hot, intense sunlight exposure between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
– In outdoor locations, succulent plants will require more water.
Place the artificial light about 6 to 12 inches above your succulent plants. 
Watering requirements – Water succulent plants thoroughly.
– Always let the soil dry out totally between waterings.
Water succulents only enough to prevent shrinking and withering throughout the low-light winter months.
– In the spring, increase watering to meet your succulents’ watering requirements. 
Fertilizer requirements Fertilize your succulents only once or twice a year during the late spring or summer when your plants are actively growing.
– Succulents require only modest amounts of fertilizer and other nutrient requirements.
Use a houseplant food rich in phosphorus than nitrogen, diluted to half the suggested rate.
Pests – Pests are a rare concern for succulents.
– If you notice pests, including scales or mealybugs, use alcohol-dipped cotton swabs to wipe them off.
To prevent fungal or bacterial rots, ensure you provide them with bright light and proper watering.
Planting Succulents Together Generally, succulents are often planted together. Even though it might be a beautiful way to display your plants, you must take several precautions.
Make sure you choose plants compatible in growth rate to avoid one or two plants not outgrowing the rest.
– The plants must also have the same water requirements.
Avoid overwatering the plants, mainly when using containers with drain holes.
– Using broken clay pot fragments or coarse gravel at the bottom of your succulents’ container will help drain the water out.
Table Containing A General Overview Of Succulent –

How Often Do Succulents Need To Be Watered?

In general, succulents must be watered deeply every 10 to 14 days until water runs out of the drainage hole.

But numerous essential factors affect how often succulents should be watered, including the size and the climate. Large-size succulents with thick leaves store more water and usually get by without frequent watering.

Cactus, one of the same plants, can survive for a long time in hot deserts without adequate water. Their leaves and roots can store the water when available. This stored water helps them survive in hard weather conditions without water.

In different conditions, succulents need to be watered after different intervals. Here are some estimates. 

1- In Hot Climate – Outdoor Succulents

You know that a hot climate causes dehydration to a great extent. In a hot environment, water succulents excessive water should be given to the plants. Here are some reasons that cause dehydration. 

In a hot climate, succulent plants should be watered after every 2 weeks. And water succulents every 1 to 3 weeks during the spring and summer months.

  • Outdoor conditions  
  • They are directly exposed to sunlight or artificial light
  • When grown in a fast-draining soil
  • They feature fast water absorption due to their fleshy tissues. 
  • Growing in pots allows the soil to breathe and dry out faster.

2- In Cool Climates – Indoor Succulents

Indoor plants, no matter what species, need less watering compared to the outdoors. The same is in the case of succulents. These also need less water in cool weather conditions. Reduce watering and water succulents every 1 to 3 months.

Here are different reasons that lead to their less irrigation. 

  • They are not exposed to direct sunlight. 
  • Their soil stays moist longer. 
  • Low ventilation leads to less loss of water. 

In mild to cool weather, succulent plants can survive for one to three months without water. However, it’s good to check the moisture of the soil to prevent over-watering. 

3- Coastal Succulents

Coastal succulents hardly need less physical watering because the humidity in the morning air is sometimes sufficient to sustain them year-round.

So, if you have planted these plants in coastal weather, you don’t need to worry about their watering

See also: How To Properly Water Succulents Without Drainage?

4- Watering Small Succulents

If your succulents are smaller, you will have to take great care of their watering. Mostly, these will need to be watered after every 1 to 3 weeks. Some species feature small plants too.

  • Smaller succulents require watering more often. For best results, water your succulents every 1-3 weeks. 
  • Larger species require less watering, about 1 to 6 months between watering.

5- Watering Dormant Succulents

Generally, dormant succulents don’t require a lot of watering.

When succulent plants detect temperatures drop to about 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, they will naturally go into dormancy. 

During their dormancy, succulents have low watering requirements and require less care.  

See also: How To Properly Repot Overgrown Succulents Like A Pro?

How Do You Know That Your Succulent Needs to Be Watered? 

Some situations like rain may disturb your watering routine for succulents. In this type of condition, some symptoms may help you to check whether these plants need to be watered or not. Here are some symptoms that it is time to water your succulents:

  • The soil where these plants are planted will seem to be dry. 
  • The plants may also seem to dry. 
  • The leaves of the plants will start giving off a yellowish shade. 
  • The leaves of the plants may wrinkle out. 
  • Leaves will turn flat instead of plump. 

If you see any of the above-mentioned symptoms, immediately manage to water your succulent plants. 

See also: How to Easily Propagate Succulents with Honey?

Factors Affecting the Watering Cycle of Succulents

Succulents planted in different regions will need to be watered after different gaps. Different factors affect the watering routine of this plant species. Here are some factors that affect this cycle. 

1- Outer Climate

As mentioned above, the climate has a great effect on succulents. Those planted in shadowy and moist weather conditions will need relatively less water. A cool climate will lead to the least dehydration, so that plants will lose a small amount of water. Hence, they will survive for more days without being watered again. 

On the other hand, succulent plants planted outdoors in hot weather conditions will need more water. The dry and hot weather will cause severe dehydration. So, such plants will need to be watered more than those planted in moist indoor places. 

2- Size of the Succulents

A common thing is a size that determines how often succulents should be watered. Those succulents having small sizes will need less water than those with large sizes.

Different varieties and age of the plants affect their actual size. No matter what is the reason behind a small-sized succulent, it will need less water than those with larger sizes

See also: 5 Things to Do To Make an Aeonium Branch Out.

3- Indoor Vs. Outdoor Succulents

Indoor succulent plants will feature humid soil and moist air. So they will survive without water for a long time. On the contrary, those standing outside featuring direct sunlight will survive less without water

Can Succulents Survive 2 Weeks Without Water?

Generally, succulents can survive up to 2 weeks without water. They feature fluffy and fleshy tissues that can store the water that helps them survive for a long time without water. 

How Do Succulents Live Without Water?

Succulents feature fleshy tissues that help them store water when they are exposed to excessive water. This water helps them when they face hotter dry weather and get no water. This stored water proves beneficial for them and helps them survive even without water. 

See also: Echeveria vs. Aeonium: How To Distinguish Them?

Final Thoughts

Succulents are considered one of the hardest plant species that can face severe weather conditions for a long time. These can survive for a long time in hot deserts or indoor gardens without water.

However, if you have these plants in your plant collection, look after them carefully. If you notice any of the above changes in them, irrigate them. Otherwise, they may suffer water shortages. 


Hello friends, I am Altiné. I am SO excited you are here! I am the guy behind Plants Heaven is a blog that shares information about preparing, creating, and maintaining gardens in and out of your home, regardless of where you live. My goal is to help you learn to love gardening and reap the benefits that come with it. I am still learning; therefore, the information I share on this site may not always be “expert” advice or information. But, I do my VERY best to make sure the information shared on this blog is both accurate and helpful.

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Succulent is one of the toughest plants that can survive for months, years, seasons, and even whole life without water. We, humans, can manage to live without water for a maximum of four or hardly five days. But these plants can survive for a long time without water.
However, different sizes, weathers, and many other conditions affect the duration for which these can survive off to the water. So, how long do succulents live without water?